Cellular and Functional Immunology

Our laboratory has developed and characterized a model for chronic colitis, the socalled T cell transfer model, which, in contrast to chemically-induced colitis models, is initiated by the adaptive immune system and its specific interactions with the intestinal microbial flora.

This disease model resembles the human inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and makes it possible to study a variety of biologicals targeting any component of the innate and adoptive system including the enteric nerve system. We have shown that neurotoxic doses of capsaicin partially ameliorate colitis development in young animals and the interaction between the capsaicin receptor TRPV1 and immune cell function in vitro and in vivo is currently being studied.

Professor M. H. Claesson was coordinator within the EU Biomed 2 programme with a project dealing with characterization of the T cell transfer colitis model. In addition, the work has been supported by grants from FSS as well as a number of private foundations including the Lundbeck Foundation, the Aase og Ejnar Danielsens Foundation, Aage and Johanne Louis Hansens Foundation, The Dagmar Marshalls Foundation and “Købmand I Odense Johann og Hanne Weimann f. Seedorffs Legat”.

Our research on experimental colitis has resulted in more than 40 papers, 6 PhD theses and 2 Master theses.